AMNYTT 5/2020 - Page 93

FROM THE INDUSTRY Autonomous floating craft Robot boats to revolutionize water traffic in metropolises About a quarter of the Amsterdam area is covered by water. Canals and waterways, known as grachts, run through the urban area of the Dutch metropolis. They have always been the arteries of transport, being used to move both goods and people, and in the past they were also used to change over from sea to inland freight. And you can also live on the water, provided you have a suitable houseboat. It’s no wonder that in this cosmopolitan city, a great deal of focus is on waterway traffic. Together with MIT (the Massachusetts Institute of Technology) and the Dutch universities of Wageningen and Delft, the Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions (AMS) is developing a whole fleet of autonomous boats to meet a wide range of requirements. Also works without a helmsman: Transporting people and goods Self-propelled, autonomously acting boats that can transport goods or dispose of waste can even be connected to form temporary bridges and can also carry out temperature, water quality, and air quality measurements – there’s no shortage of tasks for the floating robots. AMS experts and their scientific companions have been researching the “Roboat” for three years. The project behind it is intended to run for five years and is supported with a budget of € 25 million. This is not only an exciting development for the metropolis on the Amstel river; many of the world’s major cities are located on sea shores or large lakes, and have extensive waterways that could be used intelligently. The ideas turbo ignited Patent numbers explode Germany, the land of diesel and combustion mobility? A figure published by the German Patent and Trademark Office illustrates how rapidly one of the key technologies of this high-tech location is being transformed. In Germany alone, 660 patents directly related to vehicles with electric drives were registered in 2019. This is an increase of 42 percent. In the electric vehicle power supply sector, patent applications rose by 41 percent. This puts Germany well ahead of the rest of the world. Almost half of all patent applications for electric drive systems in 2019 came from Germany. The robot wins Autonomous cleaning staff on rollers fight against pathogens Hospitals are places where patients should be protected as much as possible from environmental influences in order to recover. It is therefore important that aggressive pathogens do not stand a chance there. And the personnel on site also need to be protected. Plans to use automated helpers to keep viruses and bacteria in check have been around for some time. The Danish company Blue Ocean Robotics specializes in service robots, and it launched an autonomously operating robot way back in 2014 that was designed to kill germs with UV-C light. The ultraviolet radiation of the “UVD Robot” is not visible to the human eye, but destroys microbial germs extremely effectively. The self-propelled virus killer from Odense is currently attracting particular attention, as it is being used in dozens of applications in the current fight against COVID-19 in several Chinese hospitals. The Phoenix Contact innovation magazine UPDATE 5/20 7